Last Updated: July 30, 2018

Definition - What does Taproot mean?

A taproot is a large, long, central root of a plant that helps to anchor a plant in the ground and provide access to nutrients and moisture in the soil. Plant roots are categorized into three main categories: taproots, branch roots, and adventitious roots.

Most plants, including cannabis plants, have a taproot, but it can be longer and thicker in some plants than in others. Some plants do not have a taproot, rather, they have another of the three types of plant roots: either branch roots (fibrous, all of similar sizes) or adventitious roots that grow in places other than the root zone.

MaximumYield explains Taproot

All plants have roots – the serve to supply the plaint with nutrients and moisture, and in the case of plants grown in soil, they help to anchor the plant in place. However, not all roots are the same. Pull up a plant, and you’ll find roots of all sizes and thicknesses, but you’ll most likely find that there is a thicker, longer central root off of which most other roots grow. This is the taproot.

The taproot is the first root formed from the seed of the plant upon germination. And, while the plant will have other roots, it will remain the longest and thickest. It will also grow the deepest in the growing medium. Think of a carrot – the part that we consume is actually the plant’s taproot.

Not all plants have taproots, but those that do have specific benefits over those that do not. Because the taproot burrows much deeper into the ground, these plants are generally much more drought tolerant, as they can continue to locate moisture deep in the earth even in dry conditions. Another benefit is that taproots can also store nutrients for the plant, providing nutrition and helping to make plants more self-sufficient.

Of course, taproots also cause some problems. They can make it difficult to remove the plant from the growing area (think of pulling a dandelion). They also make it harder to divide a plant, as you cannot simply break away parts of the crown – each new plant needs some of the taproot to ensure it grows well.

This definition was written in the context of Cannabis
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